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Aussie boy tragedy hours after sextortion | #cybercrime | #computerhacker


Two males have been arrested and charged in Nigeria over an alleged sextortion offence which led to an Australian boy taking his own life last year. Picture: Supplied via NCA NewsWire / NSW Police

Police are urging parents to chat to their children about online risks after two Nigerian men were arrested and charged over an alleged “sextortion” offence, which led to an Australian boy taking his own life last year.

Initial inquiries by police after the boy committed suicide revealed the boy had been engaging with an unknown person online, who threatened to share personal photos with his family and friends if he did not pay $500.

NSW cybercrime squad detectives traced the messages to Nigeria, and brought in the Australian Federal Police to help them.

Investigators from the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation, along with the Joint Policing Cybercrime Coordination Centre worked with officials from South Africa to share intelligence with the Nigerian authorities.

Two males have been arrested and charged in Nigeria over an alleged sextortion offence which led to an Australian boy taking his own life last year. Picture: Supplied via NCA NewsWire / NSW PoliceTwo males have been arrested and charged in Nigeria over an alleged sextortion offence which led to an Australian boy taking his own life last year. Picture: Supplied via NCA NewsWire / NSW Police

Two males have been arrested and charged in Nigeria over an alleged sextortion offence which led to an Australian boy taking his own life last year. Picture: Supplied via NCA NewsWire / NSW Police

On Monday, NSW Police said detectives were last month informed two young men were found in a slum in Nigeria, where they had been arrested and charged.

Australia has no capacity to extradite the men, meaning they will be dealt with locally.

NSW police said there had been a “huge spike” in sextortion cases, up nearly 400 per cent in the last 18 months, but the more people who reported incidences the more officers could do.

Detective Superintendent Matthew Craft, from the state’s cybercrime squad, said the teenage had only been speaking to the pair online for “six to seven hours” before taking his own life.

“It’s not like they were grooming this individual for weeks or months,” he said.

“It occurred very quickly for a number of hours but certainly what we say there is that it’s purely a scattergun approach.

“This individual victim here in this case was not specifically targeted by this group.

“What they do is send out a range of communication across multiple platforms and just sit back and wait for individuals to engage and respond to that banter and it starts from there.”

Det Supt Craft said the conversation had started as friendly before it turned sexualised, with the boy believing he was engaging with a “young lady in various states undress”.

“This particular group, they use a play book and that involves multiple sites,” he said.

“They need to befriend the individual so they have an understanding of who they are, who their friends are to apply those threats and coercion later on.

“What we see is that it’s generally syndicated.

“There’s clear evidence that this type of behaviour is conducted overseas by individuals acting together and certainly in this case we would allege there was more than one person engaged in this conduct with our victim.”

Det Supt Craft said he wanted young people “everywhere” to know they didn’t need to suffer in silence.

“If you’re engaging with someone and all of a sudden the conversation becomes sexualised, its an opportunity for you to perhaps disengage and go and talk with an adult,” Det Supt Craft said.

“We want young people to continue to report these cases, and to never be embarrassed to talk to police. Sextortion is a very real crime that we can take serious action against.

“These arrests in Nigeria show just how far police are willing to go to seek justice on behalf of our young community.”

Don’t go it alone. Please reach out for help.

Lifeline: 13 11 14 or lifeline.org.au

Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636 or beyondblue.org.au

Beyond Blue’s coronavirus support service: 1800 512 348 or coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au

Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800 or kidshelpline.com.au

Headspace: 1800 650 890 or headspace.org.au

Are you anxious? Take the Beyond Blue quiz to see how you’re tracking and whether you could benefit from support

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